Top Five Dubai Secrets

1. Dubai’s Very Best Hot Chocolate

The hot chocolate at the Avalanche Cafe, Ski Dubai is suprisingly good. It’s one of the rare instances where whipped cream actually enhances the drink. Partly because it looks like snow, partly because it acts as a useful platform for the M&Ms. But for more interesting flavours, try the hot chocolate cafe in Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall.

2. Historic Dubai

The archaeological site in Jumeirah. It’s probably easier and more informative to visit Dubai museum though. And more comfortable, given the air conditioning.

3. Garhoud Plant Souk

This is a great place to buy plants, and much cheaper than the Dubai Garden Centre place on Sheikh Zayed Road. The ideal place to buy your bougainvillea barricade to keep the peeping toms out. (Interesting note: if you never water bougainvillea, it dies. If you water it too much, it dies. Sometimes it just dies anyway).

4. House of Prose

A great secondhand bookshop. And while they will buy back books for half price, they always seem to be overwhelmed with stock, so they’re unlikely to buy everything you bring them if you’re having a clear out. It’s also a good place to gauge how crap a recent novel is, by the stacks of copies rejected by Jumeirah Janes in the discount shelf.

5. Indoor Rainforest

At the Grand Hyatt just before Garhoud Bridge. Just don’t try to get there in rush hour. The problem is with this one is that it’s high budget only if you want to have a drink. However the deli-cafe there has some interesting imported goods, even if you do need to have your own oil well to be able to afford them.

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